OAF News

Announcing the Deborah Jarvis Award for Emerging Comediennes

Toronto, February 24, 2020 - A new annual award celebrating young comediennes at the beginning of their careers is being launched this spring. The Deborah Jarvis Award for Emerging Comediennes, sponsored by the Second City Training Centre in Toronto, will identify and award talented young comediennes at the beginning of their careers. The award is in honour of the late Deborah Jarvis, a much loved actor, comedienne and writer.

The inaugural award will be given at the showcase Drop Dead Funny; The Deborah Jarvis Award for Emerging Comediennes on Saturday, June 20, 2020, at 8:00 PM, at the John Candy Box Theatre, Second City, 99 Blue Jays Way, featuring performances by the award recipient and shortlisted comediennes.

About Deborah Jarvis
Deborah Jarvis had a long varied career as both an actor, comedienne and writer. She acted in Toronto and at Stratford.  She played the early comedy clubs on Yonge Street when young women didn't do that.  She toured with the Second City National Touring Company and performed in the Second City Main Stage Company in Toronto where she worked with a young Mike Myers. She then turned to a career creating, writing and story-editing popular young people's television like Ready or Not, Majority Rules, Miss BG, Eckhart, Treasure Trekkers and Beat Bugs, for which the writing team won a Daytime Emmy. By the time she was ready to retire, her career encompassed story editing international teams of writers on three continents and working for world-spanning co-productions in multiple languages. Learn more about Deborah here >>

About the Award
The Second City Training Centre will oversee the award nomination and selection process.

The Deborah Jarvis Award Fund was established at the Ontario Arts Foundation to provide the prize money for the award. Donations can be made online at https://www.oafdn.ca/donations/new - select the “Deborah Jarvis Award Fund” from the Fund drop-down menu. A charitable receipt for tax purposes will be issued.

(Second City Touring Ensemble, c. 1985, left to right, Barb Muller, Tim Sims, Ed Sahely, Pat Yeatman, John Costello, Deb Jarvis, Peter Sherk, Randy Vancourt, Tom Melissis)

“This award was established to encourage young female comics in taking the next steps towards a professional career in comedy,” says award co-founder and Deborah Jarvis’ husband John Corbett. “It is important to support and encourage comediennes at the beginning of their careers, a place where Deborah and every other female comic found herself at one time.”


For more information, please contact:

Alan Walker
Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation
Tel: (416) 969-7413

Established in 1991, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2018-2019 the OAF paid over $4.35 million in endowment income and $315,000 in awards and scholarships. 

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